Is the 10mm Too Powerful?
July 3rd, 2020
4 minute read
The topic of the 10mm stirs up strong opinions. It’s a powerful round that gets an autopistol into magnum revolver power ranges (it’s most often compared to the .41 Magnum), but its popularity waned a bit after its introduction many years ago. However, regardless of your personal feelings toward the round, there’s no denying its resurgence in popularity today.
So, wouldn’t it make sense that a very popular round be available in a very popular pistol? That would be the Springfield Armory XD-M line of pistols, which does in fact offer a version in the powerful and popular 10mm chambering.
XD-M pistols in 10mm are available in a 5.25” competition model, 4.5” OSP threaded model, a regular 4.5” threaded model and a standard 4.5” model, which is the one I tested out. (There is also the new XD-M Elite line, available in 9mm, with enhanced upgrades and features. Check out a review here.)
Since the 10mm is such a powerful cartridge, you might wonder if the XD-M is up to a steady diet of the round. Well, Clay Martin decided to find out and put a 4.5” model through a 10,000-round test of Federal Hydra-Shok 10mm defensive ammo. The pistol made it through the test with flying colors (you can see that test by clicking here).
With all the positive buzz around the pistol, I wanted to try one out for myself. Although I was not able to do the full 10K rounds Clay had done, I was able to compile a pretty good selection of ammo for my testing. It included 50 rounds of PPU’s 170-gr. FPJ, 200 rounds of Atlanta Arms 180-gr. JFP, 40 rounds of Hornady Custom 180-gr. XTP, 40 rounds of Hornady Custom 155-gr. XTP and 40 rounds of Hornady Critical Duty 175-gr. FlexLock for a total of 370 rounds of ammo shot during this test.
Some 10mm pistols can feel a bit unwieldy in the hand, but not this one. I don’t have gigantic meat mitts, yet it fit comfortably in my hand without feeling like I was going to have to do some fancy grip techniques to keep a hold of it. There are three interchangeable backstraps, but I left the one it came with on the gun.
My first five shots out of the gun at self-defense distance all grouped nicely in one of the 4” circles on my target. Honestly, it was better than I was expecting for my first time shooting 10mm. Maybe it was the gun’s full-length guide rod, the crisp trigger and reset, or perhaps the ammo, or maybe a combination of all the above? Either way, I’ll take it.
The model I shot had a low-profile combat rear sight with a ledge on the front so that you could rack it off of a hard surface if need be. The front sight was a red fiber optic insert. Included in the case was a second rod of red and one rod of green in case you like that better.
It wasn’t until after I finished all of my shooting that I looked up the specs for the gun. I had no idea that it weighed in at just under two pounds (31.2 oz) unloaded, but I did notice that it felt super light the whole time, even with 15+1 rounds of 180-gr. ammo in it.
For those unfamiliar with the cartridge, you might expect an afternoon of shooting almost 400 rounds of 10mm to leave your hands and arms feeling a bit, well, uncomfortable. I found the opposite to be true. I really couldn’t tell the difference between shooting this gun and caliber and my 9mm pistol, even with the heaviest 180-gr. cartridges.
Simply put, Springfield Armory’s XD-M 4.5” 10mm pistol is a great gun. It’s obviously overbuilt, yet not overbearing. If you’ve been hesitant to give the caliber a try because of what you’ve read on the internet, I’d urge you to give it a try. After all, you read this on the internet, too. It’s a great gun with a great chambering.
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